The Iowa State Auditor said her office will review Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s use of federal grant money to pay for a special state agent to conduct voter fraud investigations. In a letter dated May 31 to state Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington, Republican Auditor Mary Mosiman wrote she will review the appropriateness of Schultz’s use of Help America Vote Act money to hire an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation officer to root out voter fraud. Courtney had asked for such an investigation from Mosiman’s predecessor, David Vaudt, who left his state post for a national job as chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. In her letter, which was released today by the Senate Democratic caucus staff, Mosiman wrote the investigation would be conducted by her chief deputy because of a potential conflict of interest. Mosiman worked in Schultz’s office as an elections deputy before she was appointed to Vaudt’s post by Gov. Terry Branstad last month.
Schultz released a statement on the news of the investigation. “The proper and fair administration of elections in the State of Iowa is my responsibility as the chief elections official,” he said. “Iowans deserve clean and honest elections. We continue to believe that the investigation expenditures are an appropriate use of HAVA funds, under Title 1, as they are being used to improve the administration of federal elections.”
Brad Anderson, a Democrat who is running for the secretary of state’s post, issued his own statement criticizing Schultz’s actions. “Matt Schultz is finally getting audited for possible misuse of federal Help America Vote Act funds,” the statement read. “It is nice to see someone is going to review whether or not spending $280,000 on a partisan investigation that has led to zero convictions of anyone knowingly committing voter fraud is a good use of taxpayer dollars. To be candid, I believe Secretary Schultz’s investigation is a complete waste of taxpayer money, and he should be held accountable.”
Full Article: Iowa auditor to review voter fraud probe.